Friday 9/18 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,


I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.


As of today, 1353 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here. There have been 124,570 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 431 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,046,523 patients have been tested, and 9,059 have passed away. Learn more here.


I am excited to participate in a Museum of Science & GBH panel at 5PM this Monday 9/21. Mathieu Bermingham, MD Metro West Center for Well Being and Children’s Services of Roxbury, Dr. Philip Wang of the Cambridge Health Alliance, and I will discuss Children’s Mental Health: How Science Informs Policy. Please join by registering here and learn more on the event’s Facebook page.


Shanah tovah to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah today. May you have a healthy and happy new year.


State Action Updates


Massachusetts has received a shipment of the CDC-developed nasal or oral swab tests that are designed to detect both COVID-19 and the most common flu strains. The Governor’s administration has not yet decided on how to deploy them.


Today, the state updated its list of lower-risk states. Starting tomorrow, 9/19 Wyoming will no longer be considered a lower-risk state. Travelers from lower-risk states are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and do not need to quarantine.


The Department of Public Health is conducting a COVID-19 Community Impact Survey to learn how to better help people through the COVID-19 pandemic. Your answers to the survey can help even if you have not been sick.


The RMV is continuing to encourage eligible customers to renew their MA driver’s license or MA ID card online in order to qualify for a free upgrade to a REAL ID in 2021. This promotion will remain in effect until the State of Emergency is lifted.


The state’s unemployment rate dropped by nearly five percent to 11.3% in the month of August. The state’s unemployment rate for the month of July was 16.2%. Employers have added back about 440,00 of the roughly 850,000 jobs lost when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.


Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:


Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.


Cambridge Updates


Researchers at M.I.T. and the Broad Institute have potentially developed a new more convenient test for COVID-19 that uses CRISPR genetic technology and could produce test results in less than an hour. They hope to simplify the test so that it can be used at home.


The City announced that it has provided over 11,000 free COVID-19 tests to people in Cambridge since last spring through the free mobile testing program. City-funded testing sites open to all residents have been available since July.


Where to Get Tested


Testing appointments through the City’s free mobile-testing program are now available at the following locations:

  • Russell Youth and Community Center (formerly the West Cambridge Youth Center), 680 Huron Avenue, 10AM - 6PM on Wednesday 9/23 and Wednesday 9/30.
  • Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street, 11AM - 7PM, on Saturday, 9/26


You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 617-665-3795.


If you are feeling symptomatic and feel the need to get tested sooner, you can call your primary care provider to make an appointment to be tested.


Translation Resources Available


Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City's multilingual help page.


Where to Give


On Fridays, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food for the Chelsea Food Collaborative. Drop off is between 9 AM to 3:30PM at 175 Richdale Ave, the entrance to CoHousing, either in a paper bag or small box. If you don't see someone at the moment you come, please leave it just inside the gate where we will have boxes marked “For Chelsea.”


If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to the following places that are working to help those most affected by COVID-19:


Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund


Cambridge Health Alliance


Cambridge Community Foundation


Food for Free


Greater Boston Food Bank


Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund


Mount Auburn Hospital


The One Chelsea Fund


I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work:


Louis D. Brown Peace Institute


Families for Justice as Healing


Prisoners’ Legal Services


Boston NAACP


Massachusetts Bail Fund


ACLU of Massachusetts


Union of Minority Neighborhoods


As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at






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